Title: Sam is a Big Guy, Okay?

Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Sam/Dean
Notes: Written for sexualoddity’s Sneezy Supernatural Boys Appreciation Society comment meme. I totally stole JJ’s comment because I suck at titles and it’s so cute ;-)

Summary: No one can miss Sam when he’s sick.

Prompt: Sam’s sneezes are just regular old sneezes, maybe a little on the loud side sometimes, but otherwise they come and go like the average sneezes they are.
Unless Sam is sick. Then they take forever, long hitching vocal buildups that lead to massive itchy congested drawn-out sneezes that make him sound like he’s dying a miserable sneezy sickly sniffly head cold death (who cares if that made sense just go with it). 
And like, we’re talking massive. They rock the Impala. The startle innocent passersby. They wake up sleeping Deans, even when they're stifled in the bathroom (lol AS IF Sam could stifle those suckers). They drain poor Sam's energy and just make him more miserable than ever.



Sam is a Big Guy, Okay?

It’s quiet in the impala as they cruise along at sixty on the interstate.  Rather, it’s not completely quiet, because Sam is coughing into his fist and sniffling every five to ten seconds because his nose insists on being like an unfixable leaky faucet. The quiet part is actually the fact that Dean is so pissed off at him that he’s not talking. His anger somehow makes him beyond words now.


Sam rubs his nose and stares forward. He’s scared to look over at Dean, but if he angles his head just right, he can see his older brother out of the corner of his eye. Dean pulls two limp French fries from the bag on his lap and winces as he puts them in his mouth, chews with a frown, forces himself to swallow. Sam’s pretty sure they can’t taste that bad, that Dean’s making it worse than it is because he’s angry. “Look,” Sam says, the word bookended by two strong sniffs. “I’b sorry, all right?”


But it’s not all right. Dean looks over at him, eyes full of emotion Sam instantly recognizes from their hunts together. He looks like he wants to gank Sam right then and there.


Sam shrinks back a little, difficult to do because he fills the seat in the impala with is body and the jacket draped over his front and the tissue box on the seat next to him. Whatever arguments they get into, they can work through eventually. But ruining Dean’s food… that might be something Dean can’t forgive.


Sam looks out the side window and rubs his nose. He’s gotta sneeze again, and he doesn’t want to; that’s how got into this mess in the first place. But this raging head cold doesn’t seem to understand that. He closes his eyes, because he’s weak and that’s just about all he can do at this point. “ihh… ih-hihhhhhh…” The only good thing about these build-ups is that they give Dean a bit of warning. “ih-eh-ihhhh…” A sneeze is coming. “heh-ehhhh… yihhh…” And it’s going to be big. “Yihhhh… IHHHhhhh…” He grips the door handle with one hand and searches around for the tissue box with the other. “HEHHhhh…” He’s rocking now, each breath so strong and deep that it takes him over. “YIHHHHH!” He pulls out one, two, three, four tissues out of the box. There aren’t so many left when he goes through them at this rate, but he can’t help it. He presses the tissues to his nose and mouth just in time. “IHH! EHH! EH-HEHHHHH-KETCHHHewww!


Dean swerves out of the lane, swears, and corrects to avoid crashing into a red SUV. The driver still flicks him off angrily as it speeds ahead, out of danger range. Dean hits the butt of his hand against the steering wheel angrily.


Sam winces. Even with four tissues folded over, his hand feels wet from the sneeze. And his nose feels so painfully stuffed, like there’s so much in there the sneeze should have helped with but didn’t do a thing for. Already he feels the need to sneeze again. But he sniffs and the urge dies away by half. He turns the tissues over and wipes the side at his nose. His head pounds. He feels sick. And he feels horrible. About nearly killing them. Again. “B’sorry,” he tries again.


Dean raises a finger. “I swear, Sammy, if you apologize one more time, I’m gonna…” He can’t follow it with any actual threat, so he just sighs and shakes his head. “I can’t take this anymore. And neither can my baby.” And he takes the first exit that promises lodgings in the blue exit sign.


They spot a Walgreens drug store and Dean makes a detour. He unbuckles his seatbelt and puts his hand on Sam’s before Sam can do the same. “You should stay here. We wouldn’t want any acci…” He stops far too late into the sentence. “Just stay here,” he finishes. Then, not quite so cold, “What do you want?”


Sam slumps back into his seat. He knows Dean’s right, but it still kind of stings. He puts in his order and hopes Dean takes his request for as many tissues as he can carry literally. Then he watches as Dean gets out of the car and tosses the rest of his burgers and fries into the trash can on the way into the store.


Sam sighs, which makes him cough until he blows his nose. He feels awful about Dean’s lunch. Both of the lunches. The first one had been embarrassing. He’d sneezed just as the woman at the fast food drive-through had been handing Dean the bag. The sneeze had been loud, as all Sam’s cold sneezes were, but loud enough to cause the employee to jump and drop the food out of the window and onto the road. They hadn’t been charged for the replacement food, but Sam had still been embarrassed. And he’d pinched his nose when the manager brought the food out to their car so it wouldn’t happen again.


But he’d still needed to sneeze. Even with a thumb and forefinger pinching his nose, the tickle grew. His breath hitched uncontrollably. But he didn’t sneeze. Not until they were back on the road. And then it had exploded out of him, entirely unstoppable and so loud it would have hurt Sam’s ears if they hadn’t already been a little off from all the congestion. Dean had jumped and, luckily, not steered the car wrong. But he had spilled his soda. All over his lap. And all over the bag of food in his lap. The double bacon cheeseburger and fries were saturated and dripping in coke. And by then it was too late and too frustrating to turn back and get a third order of lunch. Dean had hit the gas and clammed up, hands gripping the steering wheel tight.


It’s no wonder he wanted to go in alone. Sam doesn’t mind; he doesn’t want anything else dropped or broken because he sneezed at the wrong time. And he figures Dean needs some time away from him to cool off. The car feels warm and stuffy, even without Dean in it, and Sam cranks down his window a little for fresh air.


A cool breeze strikes him and his ticklish nose, making him shiver and draw an involuntary breath. “ehh-hehhhh….” He takes his time, knowing the build-up will be extended, plucking out plenty of tissues. “eh-ihhhhh…” A whole handful of tissues. “hihhhhh!” A big bunch. “Ihhh!” Clutching them to his runny nose. “Hihhhh! IHHH!” His shoulders tense and body seizes up. “IH! IHH!” He can feel the sneeze coming from deep down inside, working its way through him, making him shiver. “EHHHHHHH!” He leans back in the seat, drawing the deepest breath yet. Then he pitches forward. “eeeee-IHCHHHHHhhooooo!” Even with his nose buried in tissues, the sneeze is loud.


There’s a yelp. Startled, Sam looked up. A woman stands outside the car, a hand clapped to her chest in surprise. Sam gives her an apologetic look then slumps back down in the seat to blow his stuffy nose as much as he can before Dean returns. His nose is messy, but it least blowing it isn’t loud enough to give innocent passersby heart attacks.


Dean tosses the purchases in the back seat and backs the car out of the parking space without a word. But he does eye the dozens of new balled-up tissues littering Sam’s side of the car.


When they get to the motel, Dean goes to get a room and Sam stays in the car again. He feels a sneeze coming on almost as soon as Dean gets out. Dean eyes him exasperatedly, walking backwards, shaking his head, before going inside.


ih-ih-ih-ih…” It starts off deceptively small, like all his normal sneezes from dust or the sun glaring in his eyes. “Iihhhhh…” There’s something about his cold sneezes that makes them bigger. Sam always guessed it was his body’s way of trying to get rid of all that congestion in him, but all they ever seem to do is wear him out twice as fast and he’s still stuffy and miserable. “ih-Hehhh-ehhh…” His breath is unsteady. “eeeee-yehhh…” He grips the sides of his seat. “ehhhhhhhhh…” The breaths increase in length and pitch and volume and desperation and he just wants to sneeze and get it over with by now, damn it. “Ihh-Ehhh-HEHHH!” He plucks the last of the tissues from the box and snuffles into them. But it’s no use. “hehh-HEHH! EHH! EEE-EHH! YERHHH! HEH-EHPTTSCHHH-uhhhh!” He’s sure the impala rocked from that one; he felt the movement.


And when Sam opens his eyes, he sees a woman on the sidewalk outside, stopped and staring at him. Her dog, a white fluffy thing with two beetle black eyes, is cowering behind her, shaking. Sam glances over at the doors leading to the motel and sees Dean at the counter inside, staring out at him with a ‘Dude, really?’ expression and the man behind the counter staring out as well. They’d heard him inside. Through the car, through across the sidewalk and inside the building.


Mortified, Sam slides down in his seat. But his long legs don’t fold well enough and his knees bang against the glove compartment. He can’t even hide well. So he puts his hand over his face and closes his eyes and tries to forget that now he’s scaring dogs with his sneezes.


Dean drives them around to one of the sides of the motel. They usually only get rooms at places with outside access, easier to make an escape from if needed. But given that this is an unscheduled stop and they’re not working a job, it’s not as important. Sam throws open his door, shivers, and tries to get up out of the car.


But he suddenly finds he can’t. His head swims. And moving his limbs now seems entirely out of the question, like it’s some foreign movement he’s never learned. “Ub,” he says, calm and a little concerned. “Cad you helb be ub?”


“What, you can’t…” Then he seems to realize his brother actually can’t. “All you’ve done all day is sit in a car. How does that tire you out?”


“It’s the sdeezig,” Sam tells him, though he knows how it sounds.


Dean grits his teeth and walks around to the other side of the car. Snaking an arm around Sam’s back, under the shoulders, he hauls a swaying, unsteady Sam to his feet and leads him inside. Sam sniffles his way down the hall but manages not to sneeze.


Sam doesn’t feel the least bit comforted by their room at a Comfort Inn. Even with every pillow in the room holding him up in bed, the congestion is so bad his breaths rattle. And, God, this is just a head cold, but it feels to Sam like he’s dying. And it sounds to anyone else like he’s dying. “Dean,” he says weakly, when Dean is done bringing in their bags. “I thidk I’b dying.” He wraps up in the blankets and comforter and shivers and coughs.


“You’re not dying,” Dean says, and he should know from experience. “It’s just a head cold.” He tosses the duffle bags on the floor and drops the plastic bags on the table. He takes a deep breath, pauses, then turns sympathetic. “It only feels worse because your sneezes are massive events.”


ihh-I… eh-hehhhh… I cad’t help ihh-it.”


Dean rips open a tissue box and tosses it over to the bed. It bounces on the mattress and lands on the floor.


Sam moans and presses the back of his hand at his runny, sniffly, tickly nose. “D-dead… I’b… eh-Hehhhh! Godda… EHHHH!” He leans over, trying to lunge for the box. And though his arms are long, he face-plants onto the bed and still can’t reach the box on the floor.


With a minimal roll of the eyes, Dean snatches up the box. Then he pulls out a bunch of tissues, pushes Sam up, even though he’s weak and limp, and cups the tissues to his brother’s face. “S’all right,” he says.


Sam’s eyes flutter closed immediately. “ihhhh-HIH-IH-IHHHHH-HITCHUHHhhhhhh!” Dean starts to pull away, but Sam reaches up and grabs Dean’s arm. Dean freezes as Sam sways. “Ih-eh-EHHHH-YihIHHTCHEWWW! EH-KEPTCHUHH!” Sam’s shoulders sad and he gives a weak “uh… oh…” Before blowing his nose helplessly into the damp tissues. Dean isn’t exactly ready for it, but he stokes the back of Sam’s head to let him know he doesn’t really mind. So Sam blows again.


When done, Dean eases him back against the pillows and plops the tissue box on Sam’s lap. “Hang tight, Sammy.” Dean goes back to the table, takes out a jar of VapoRub and a box of decongestants. He settles back down on the bed. “Sooner you quit sneezing, the sooner we can get back on the road.”


“So this is like a job?”


Dean chuckles, and the sound itself makes Sam relax. “Yeah, I guess. Gotta have the right tools, the right knowledge.” He pats Sam’s legs through the blanket. “You ready to fight?”


Sam shrugs. “I’b ready to sleeb.”


Once Dean fills a hot water bottle for him, Sam sleeps right through dinner and well into the night. He wakes to find Dean naked and curled against his back on the mound of pillows with him, an arm draped over Sam. Sam wants to fall back to sleep immediately, but his nose starts tickling and he knows it’s only a matter of time.


Sam crawls from the warm nest of blankets, pillows, and Dean, and he navigates to the bathroom. He closes the door slowly, silently, thinking about all the times he’s sneaked through haunted houses or cemeteries like this in the middle of the night. He pulls handful after handful of tissues from the box in the bathroom and presses them all to his nose and mouth. When he breathes through them, they’re warm. He sits down on the toilet seat lid; he knows the sneezes are going to be strong and it’s the best he can do to brace himself.


ehffffff… hfffffffffff…” He hunches forward, as if he can block the sound of the sneezes with his body. “Ifffff! EHFF!” Sam’s head spins, but he keeps the tissues where they are, trying his best to muffle the sound. “ihhHEFIGGMPHHH! EH-HIPTXXMPH!” He gathers some of the tissues, rubbing, wiping at his nose. Then he folds them and sneezes into them again. “erhhhh-HEFTSHMPHhhhhh!


Banging makes Sam jump. But it’s not the door to the bathroom; it’s the wall beside him.


ehhhh… hehhh-ERSHIKkkuhhhhh!


There’s another bang. Or more like a desperate, frustrated thump. Someone in the room next door is not a fan of Sam’s sneezes either.


The bathroom door opens and Dean’s there. “Come on back to bed, big guy.”


Sam shakes his head. Between keeping up the stranger next door and Dean, he’ll take the stranger; he doesn’t want to annoy Dean any more.


“I’ve got a secret weapon.” He pulls Sam by his arm, and Sam’s too weak to put up any sort of fight. He breathes heavily through his mouth, far too stuffed up to do otherwise. He lies down on his side and Dean slides right up behind again. Usually they sleep the other way around; it’s how they fit best. But Sam’s curled up and Dean’s body is just the right size. Dean reaches around, hugging, rubbing Sam’s chest to warm it.


But eventually the rubbing slows and Dean’s arm goes limp. Sam tries to match his breathing with his brother’s, but he already feels sneezy again. He tries to fight it, tries to control himself. But the sneeze is as vicious and unruly as any vengeful spirit. He cups tissues to his face. “ehh… hehhhhhhhh… Huh… Huh-EHH… EHH-HIH-HITCHSHHHHH!” There’s no thump on the wall this time. And Dean, he realizes, is still asleep. At least, he seems to be. He’s not moving, apart from his chest slowly rising and falling with each breath. Sam turns his head and catches their reflection in the television screen across from the bed. Dean’s definitely still asleep. And there’s something that looks like a package on the bed beside him.


Sam swings his arm around, catches hold of it between two fingers, and pulls it around. It takes a moment to make out the words on the package in the darkness. But then he laughs. And Dean doesn’t wake because Dean doesn’t hear it. Because at the drug store Dean bought tissues, VapoRub, medicine, and earplugs.